Los Angeles Almanac Logo
Home | All Almanac Topics | History

Los Angeles Man

Prehistoric Los Angeles Man imagined in display at La Brea Tar Pits & Museum. Los Angeles Almanac Photo.

In 1936, construction workers excavating a storm drain in the Ballona Creek area of West Los Angeles, unearthed the mineralized cranium of a human skull. These remains that came to be known as Los Angeles Man. Although later radiocarbon dating at the UCLA radiocarbon laboratory indicated an age of about 23,600 years, the sample from the skull was small and did not produce a conclusive date. Because scientists see no conclusive evidence of human habitation in the Los Angeles area prior to 10,000 years ago, having a 23,600-year-old Los Angeles man presents a problem. It is perhaps safer to maintain at this time that Los Angeles Man is closer to 8,000 to 10,000 years old.